One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A Eurasian shrub or small tree cultivated as an ornamental.
Genus Elaeagnus, family Elaeagnaceae: several species, in particular E. angustifolia, which bears edible yellow olive-shaped fruit (also called Russian olive in North America)
- ‘Anyway, I arrive at my own yard and see my overgrown oleaster hedge in bloom with its teeny-tiny, very un-peony-like flowers.’
- ‘Its wild relatives, known as oleaster forms, are generally indistinguishable from feral types and constitute a common component of the Mediterranean vegetation.’
- ‘Olives from wild trees (oleasters) were sporadically gathered, in the Near East, by Neolithic peoples about 10,000 years ago.’
- ‘Additionally, to compare the genetic diversity of laperrinei populations with that of populations belonging to the europaea subspecies, wild Mediterranean olives (oleasters) were characterized.’
Late Middle English: from Latin, from olea ‘olive tree’.
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